Having An Impact Beyond the Technology

From the desk of Executive Director Larry Brown

Larry Brown People often ask why we located LIFT in the Midwest. There are even times when people ask why so many of the Manufacturing USA institutes are located in the region, as opposed to down south or even out west of the Rocky Mountains.

I cannot respond on behalf of all of the institutes, but I can share that the reason for LIFT’s location is strategic in that greater than 50% of the metalworking jobs in the country are located along the I-75 corridor, extending from Michigan south through Tennessee. As for some of the other institutes locations in the region – like DMDII in Chicago, America Makes in Youngstown, Ohio, IACMI in Knoxville, ARM in Pittsburgh – they located in the Midwest alongside regions with rich history in manufacturing, the infrastructure in place to re-invigorate the industry, and the people with the skills to rebuild it.

Having several Manufacturing USA institutes locate in this region is proving to be beneficial as, recently cited in Forbes magazine, the Midwest if leading the way in the manufacturing renaissance.

According to the Forbes study, eight of the top 15 metropolitan areas where manufacturing is thriving are in the Midwest, including five of the top 10 being located in the LIFT 5-state I-75 corridor.

In fact, two of the areas in the top 10 (which make up most of southeast Michigan, including Detroit) located in the LIFT HQ backyard, are “now home to over 245,000 manufacturing jobs, up dramatically from the 205,500 manufacturing jobs they accounted for in 2011 and just below the 252,300 jobs they tallied a decade ago, before the Great Recession hit.”

Many of you have heard me say that the institutes were established to not only have an impact on their given technology, but to also have an impact on their region and local community.
This recent study is proof that we and other Manufacturing institutes are doing just that.

Time in the High Bay

Over the next several weeks, we are expecting the remainder of the equipment to be installed, followed by “shake-down” exercises at LIFT headquarters. We continue to be on the edge of our seats as the work is being done. Every time I leave the office for any length of time, and upon return, I can’t help but notice the metamorphic change of the high-bay. The high-bay, from what appeared to be a large empty skating rink as we initiated our journey to what is now becoming an advanced manufacturing, pilot scale R&D/ learning facility. This is truly an exciting time with great anticipation for staff and our membership.

As we prepare for the grand opening of the high bay in September, we are getting set to start scheduling time on the equipment for research and prototyping work.

If you have interest in any of the equipment being installed, remember to contact us at and we will work with you to set up time when the machines become available.